John Heiney, director of Birmingham's Principal Shopping District, which is responsible for the tree in Shain Park, said officials decided to construct the fake tree instead of using the droopy old tree the district has been decorating for years because the fake is so "realistic," the Detroit Free Press reported Monday.
"They're just so good at making them look so realistic now," Heiney said of the fake trees, made from Taiwanese PVC.
Heiney said the decision was made to nix the old tree because decorators had trouble making it look "beautiful."
However, Frank Genovese, owner of Candy Cane Christmas Farm in Oxford and a member of the Michigan Christmas Tree Association, said he is not happy about the artificial tree.
"You call it a tree, but it isn't a tree. It's a plastic edifice," Genovese said. "The artificial trees are 99 percent made in China. You're having them imported. Trees provide oxygen and sanctuaries for birds and so on."